Mobile Purchasing Keeps Ramping Up in the US

Smartphones now account for a quarter of all digital purchases

Author: Jeremy Kressmann

March 10, 2017

Mobile-based purchases continue to make inroads with the US ecommerce sector, thanks to a growing embrace by young consumers, and shoppers’ willingness to spend increasingly larger dollar amounts using their portable devices.

eMarketer’s latest estimates suggest that smartphone retail mcommerce sales in the US will increase more than 50% this year to total $102.14 billion.


Other research confirms that the share of mobile-based digital shopping is on the rise. In a February report from Criteo that compared US retail ecommerce transaction share by device, smartphone-based purchases accounted for one-quarter of retail ecommerce in Q4 2016, up from 18% in Q4 2015.

Mobile’s share of digital purchases isn’t the only metric that’s seeing growth. The average dollar value of mobile-based purchases is also rising, suggesting the increasing popularity of the technology. The same Criteo study noted that the average order value of mcommerce transactions grew between Q4 2015 and Q4 2016—from $91 to $98 on tablets, and from $74 to $79 on smartphones.

In addition, mobile purchases are getting a further demographic “boost” from younger, mobile-savvy consumers.

A growing proportion of millennials say that speed and easy navigation are key factors in their likelihood of shopping with mobile devices. In a January 2017 survey conducted by Fluent, around one-quarter of US internet users ages 18 to 34 said speed was a key consideration for mobile shopping.

Easier navigation was also a key factor, mentioned by 27% of respondents ages 18 to 24, and by 36% of those 25 to 34.

The fact that more retailers are prioritizing mobile-friendly commerce efforts like responsive design and app development are both strong signs that ecommerce organizations are taking notice of this growing mobile purchase shift.